Northern Star – redux

Good to see Jocelyn Bell Burnell being justly rewarded for her part in Pluto’s downfall [*ahem* – Ed]. Perhaps the Beeb could use that as an excuse to give the excellent Nothern Star they screened on Wednesday a wider airing [In Wiltshire perhaps? – Ed] rather than, you know, hiding it away in a dusty archive. Red Mum has a glowing review of the programme, which I can only agree with, and she’s right about that uncomfortable silence. ANYhoo.. Until the Beeb do something with the programme.. you can listen to a 1998 recording of Dame Jocelyn talking about her work here [RealPlayer audio] Adds Or alternatively, via the Bath University public lecture podcasts, Dame Jocelyn talks about her hobby, poetry. [24.5Mb mp3 file]

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  • joeCanuck

    I enjoy your posting of things broadly outside of N.I. navel gazing.
    It’s time for Mick to put a comma after Northern Ireland in the blog title.

  • dodrade

    Can anyone tell me what the piano piece was in the middle of Northern Star? It was also used on the abdication documentary on BBC 4 last year.

    I think it’s from a film but can’t remember which.

  • gingerman

    Never heard of Jocelyn Bell before I seen her pfofile on TV the other night.
    Congrations to Jocelyn. She proved that you don’t have to pass the 11+ to be successful.

  • willis


    It might be worth dropping an e-mail to the Producers.

    Independent Pictures – an Agtel company, 22 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2

  • dodrade

    I did that, no answer yet, also wrote to the company that did the Abdication documentary they never answered either.

    I’m desperate to know but can’t seem to find out what it is.

  • susan

    Thank you for providing the link to the lecture on poetry and astronomy. I loved it. It was wonderful that she chose to conclude by reading the late Rebecca Elson’s poem herself.

  • Pete Baker

    Cheers susan.

    I thought it was a good example of the kind of contribution to science that Jocelyn got the award for.

    And I noticed Delay in there too.

  • susan

    Yes, me too.

    Aul gerry kelly will be beside himself.

  • susan

    I’m sorry, that was unnecessary. Gerry’s as entitled to despise a poem as I am to admire it.

    Perhaps Gerry would prefer Robert Frost’s “Star Splitter,” mentioned in the lecture and new to me. An excerpt:

    “He burned his house down for the fire insurance
    And spent the proceeds on a telescope
    To satisfy a life-long curiosity
    About our place among the infinities.

    “What do you want with one of those blame things?”
    I asked him well beforehand. “Don’t you get one!”
    “Don’t call it blamed; there isn’t anything
    More blameless in the sense of being less
    A weapon in our human fight,” he said.–from The Star-Splitter, by Robert Frost